Mkpoikana Udoma 07 August 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has charged the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, to urgently put in place modalities for the rehabilitation and full operation of all the moribund ports within the Niger Delta as a show of interest in the overall economic development of the region.
The group also berated the Federal Government over what it described as deliberate abandonment of seaports in Port Harcourt, Warri, and Calabar.
Spokesman of the group, Mr. Henry Iyalla, in a statement said imposition of high tariffs and implementation of stifling policies towards the seaports in the Niger Delta were aimed at sabotaging the economy and marginalising the people of the region.
Iyalla lamented that it was worrisome that the only functional and viable seaport in operation in the country today was that of Lagos.
“It is quit pathetic to see that the only sea port in operation in the country today is that of Lagos State. According to a report in Guardian Newspapers on the 31st of July, 2017, no fewer than two million containers laden with various cargoes worth over 5 trillion are currently stranded at the Lagos Port, with several vessels waiting to berth as if the country lacks sea ports with the capacity to satisfy the demands of the industry.
“We therefore condemn in totality the huge infrastructural decay, high disparity on cargo charges and deliberate stifling policies against the Niger Delta ports, compared to their Lagos counterpart. Regrettably this has brought about sustained under-utilisation of ports within the region, reduced economic gain and mass unemployment of youths,” he said.